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First solar powered circumnavigation

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Norseman, May 6, 2012.

  1. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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  2. I saw last year 2011 here personally this boat in Hamburg at Port Birthday days, May, well 1 year ago now. Really, I was not that impressed, mainly from her design, horrible btw, neither from space inside. All what is solar they make strangely to come funny, without a good reason, because many roof or empty spaces of normal vehicles you could have solar cells as well. For me a Rogues.
  3. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Horrible? Perhaps dramatic, but surely form follows function?

    Like it or not, we are slowly but surely running out of fossil fuels and if ya want to go boating in the future, without installing a nuclear power plant in your vessel, you will probably use sails and or solar power and guess what, there is no negatives in forward thinking people pushing tech.

    The above vessel did break new ground by being the first one to sail (or motor) around the world using only solar power and I tip my hat and raise my glass to that.

    I am not a green-freak, but I sure enjoy the 150 watt solar panels on my sailboat: They produce about 50 to 60 amp-hours of energy every day, enough to power the vessel's systems including fridge and freezer while sitting at anchor in the Bahamas. Sure beats running a generator day and night and if I had more money and bigger panels and batteries, I would trade the trusty Perkins diesel for an electric motor: No oil and filter changes and quiet running.

    Thx,
  4. carelm

    carelm Senior Member

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    One thing I have noticed is an increasing use of solar panels to generate electricity as Norseman mentioned above. Also, some boats have employed small wind turbines as well.
  5. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Yeah, wind generators and solar panels are pretty common on sailboats in the tropics, especially live-aboard boats. Bigger sailboats have diesel gensets, but in the 30' to 50' range, solar is a good solution, especially using a technology called MPPT, Maximum power point tracking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It is like having an extra panel for "free".:cool:
  6. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    One of the most valuable things on a nice yacht?
    Open deck space under the warm sun and fresh breeze.

    One of the most important "commodities" utilized by solar panels, proportionally to effect?
    Open deck space under the warm sun and screw the breeze.

    Gosh, there's always a catch... must be the breeze!
  7. tirk

    tirk Member

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    To revive this thread, this is now in London and a BBC website article has appeared.

    Of course, it's now raining here, after weeks and weeks of sun!!
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You can always have a noisy wind generator!!!!
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    As with most new approaches

    Going completely solar for a marketable boat is still a long way away in practical usage. However, we normally make changes in steps. We evolve. For instance, I love the concept of the solar panels on the Marlow 97. Starting by putting panels on the top of the boat is a good step. Just using solar to help in providing the electricity needed. I've been following the solarsailor for a while and the concept is so interesting to me. I would love to have a 40 to 50 foot model just for use around home. Use a bit on the ICW and just off shore. A fun, unique boat. The combination of solar and sail panels just an exciting concept to me and I'm not a sailor. Hopefully as we see more hybrid cars and a few electric ones, we'll develop battery technology further little by little to the point that would transfer better to boats and become more practical. I wish Tesla was more practical and a better business model as I'd love to have one at that point. We're strongly considering one anyway. The problem is that economically they make no sense yet, but depend on those of us who either have more money than sense or an ecological motive to help move the concept forward.

    The biggest limiting factor on solar transportation today is in batteries and this is two fold. First, it's producing longer lasting batteries of modest size. It's taking the typical automotive type battery and making the same progress there that has been made with phone batteries as an example, although even there we seem to have stopped making progress as in the last few years they haven't gotten smaller. Second, it is producing these batteries themselves without damaging the environment. For instance, a lead acid battery like is used in your car is one of the few items existing that can be 100% recycled and done so profitably. Lead to lead, plastic to plastic. But even there, lead smeltering is a very dirty business and potentially very dangerous to the environment. Over the last 100 years the industry has done considerable damage and the remediation has been slow and expensive. Today there are some responsible smelter operations, but still some exposure exists. There are in many parts of the world however still those not as responsible. While I want batteries recycled I still don't want to live close to where it's being done.

    I still don't know why we don't do more with windmills.

    Now back to solar, I think of solar applications for your home. Why does every home built not have solar panels? Economics. But if as nations we were to decide it was truly important we'd change that. There would be economic incentives. We would help make the private enterprises economically advantageous and make it beneficial to the home owner. We haven't chosen to do that. I go back to hybrid cars as a simple example. Why do we not have more on the road? Simple. Economics. If the incentives were provided so that one could purchase the hybrid model for the same amount as the gas model, you'd see a change. If you could purchase the hybrid model even cheaper, you'd see a huge change. Imagine if one making their first car purchase could save $3-5000 by buying a hybrid or even an electric plus have continuing savings. Then you'd have a new generation of car buyer getting comfortable with them from the start and the change would be in motion.

    I love this boat proving it can be done. The next step is developing practical and economical uses. Small steps will continue. Huge steps and change will come only when governments provide the incentives or support to make it economically advantageous for mass consumers.
  10. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    What hybrid cars are you talking about? Theses gas/electric dual power cars on the market? Those are just a scam. A true hybrid has a generation system and a propulsion system, not a gas engine and an electric helper motor. A hybrid doesn't allow the gas engine to directly power the vehicle. I build a hybrid Chevy s10 once. Had a diesel generator in the bed, and an electric motor under the hood. The diesel generator used .36gph and would power the truck over 100mph. Do the math and tell me these hybrids aren't a scam to lure in stupid hippies. A dc system with a generator that varies rpm to control the power output could do even better. But they will continue to push these wanna be 'hybrids' until people learn better and quit buying them. Sorry for the rant, but I hate these so called hybrids with a passion.
  11. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Agree, got 2 Chevy Volts in my garage. Solar panels on the roof is next.

    It works, all the big car manufactures have spent millions just to lure in stupid hippies..:D:D:D
  12. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    It's funny that a redneck with a garage and 6k can pull a couple hundred mpg from an old brick, but gm/ford/Mopar can't. Or choose not to. And the s10 pulled trailers quite often. Not a problem working it like a truck. Try that with a Prius.
  13. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Did the math: At 0.36 gallons of diesel per hour, you were producing about 8 hp and could drive the truck at 100 mph.

    Quite impressive and no wonder the big car manufactures wants to hide your technology, they could not make any money making tiny little 8 HP engines for fast cars and trucks pulling loads. Hat off to you Sir. ;)
  14. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    I don't know about the hp. But hp is a made up number as it is. A completely worthless bs number made to con stupid people in wasting money. Torque matters. And a low speed diesel running less than 600rpm has a lot of torque. Do you know what hp is? Torque times rpm, divided by a constant that should be based of of bore and stroke. Most people cheat and use 5454 as the constant. High hp at high rpm often indicates low torque everywhere, thus a useless engine.
  15. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Gosh, are you sure about that...?

    I have been had, been wasting money on Horsepower for years..:D
  16. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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  17. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    Yup, you must have. Hp is just a misguided measurement. It's been going on for years, and stupid people keep buying it. Look at a 1000hp late model cat or detroit. Then look at the old 200hp Altas imperial that a pair of them replaced. And the 200hp low speed diesel will pull harder, use less fuel and last longer. But, retards like to brag about their hp, so they pay more for junk engines that don't last long and suck down fuel. I've been building engines since before I could walk, and I have personally built lower hp engines that had a better torque band, and they would walk off and leave cars that had 200+ dyno proven hp more than I had. The big 3 started the hp wars to increase sales. Period. Good engine builders know this. More rpm=more wear, this means you replace your new car sooner, and they get more of your money. Now, for full out racing, yes, peak hp can be good, but the really fast guys spend way more time working on their torque curve than hp. Why? Because torque gets you there, not a made up number based off of torque and rpm.
  18. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Love the Volts, so does Wifey.
    No adjustment really, just quit going to gas stations....

    Had my Volt since November, 5416 miles, 20 gallons used. (it has a built in gasoline generator that will come on automatically if the battery is empty)

    The 20 gallons was used to drive 800 miles, so when the battery is dead you still get 40 mpg.

    No negatives really, except I wish it was a little bigger, my previous car was a Mercedes E-500, 4-Matic and more options than I knew existed. (Massage and Air Conditioned Seats):D

    The drawback was of course that the Benz was as thirsty as a sailor at happy-hour and I got tired of supporting Exxon and Mobile.

    The Volts is just what the doctor ordered..;)

    Ya are in Fort Lauderdale? Will trade ya a test drive for a cup of Starbucks.:cool:

    Mea Culpa, I will quit believing in and buying HP from now on, thank God I found this thread....:D:D
  19. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    Just do some research and open your eyes. Simple as that. Horsepower used to help you get an idea of the powerband of an engine. Your powerband is from peak torque to peak hp. But, you will notice that the higher the rpm peak hp is, the shorter the powerband, and lower torque number. Similar engine of course, ie; same bore/stroke and compression. People have been trained to rely on just the hp number, not a combination of hp/torque and operating rpm. Look up Lister or listeroid generators. A 6hp, 600rpm diesel. It will turn a 20k generator head with no problems. Now it is huge compared to a 6hp Briggs or Honda, but makes tons more torque, and sips fuel. There is a blog about a guy in New York that ran one for 11 days following a hurricane, powering everything in his house (a/c included) plus ran extension cords to people around him. And he used less than 7 gallons of fuel. I know for a fact a Briggs wouldn't have run his generator, and would have burned more fuel in one day. Same supposed hp, but huge torque difference. 3600rpm vs 600rpm. The 600rpm 6hp has more power than the same 6hp at 3600rpm.

    So, in short, by itself, hp is a useless number, but when combined with torque and rpm information, it can be used to determine an engines powerband. Other than that, it is overused, misunderstood bs.
  20. ScotL

    ScotL Senior Member

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    I have a couple of issues here. I had a 1991 Nissan 300ZX. It cost less than a 'Vette and was still faster. Suspension setup will make a huge difference in a drag race as well as power. The Nissan is designed to be a drivers car and the 'vette(like most American cars) is designed to go in a straight line,

    I have built several engines myself, including a couple twin turbo engines. These typically have less torque than hp, but I would put money on my 500 hp engine beating your 750 hp engine if there were some curves in the road.

    That is approx 200 hp per litre vs your 120 hp per litre.

    Are you talking about HP or RPM?


    If everything revolves around torque and not HP, please explain why the original Hummer was so slow compared to almost every other truck.

    Try watching something other than drag racing.